Caring for Amaryllis Bulbs
- Display the amaryllis away from drafts in a bright room, but not in direct sunlight.
- Amaryllis prefers temperatures in the range of 60° to 70°F (15.5° to 21°C). Keep them away from freezing windows and drying radiators.
- Water sparingly. Only water when the top inch of the potting mix is dry, taking care not to get water on the neck of the bulb.
- To promote blooming, you can fertilize with Van Wilgen’s All Purpose Slow Release Plant Food.
- When the flower stalk appears, move the amaryllis into brighter sunlight. Turn the pot every several days for even lighting and to prevent leaning.
- If the stalk starts to lean, insert a stake next to it, taking care not to disturb the bulb. Amaryllis tends to be top-heavy, so stake proactively.
- Once your amaryllis is blooming, you can move it to a cooler location out of direct sunlight to make the blossoms last longer.
- After the flowers have faded, cut them off to prevent seed formation. Cut the stem off at the top of the bulb.
- Grow the amaryllis as a foliage plant through the spring and summer until the leaves turn yellow. Then store the potted bulb on its side in a cool, dark room or basement to rest for 8 to 10 weeks. See more “post-bloom” tips below.
How to Care for Amaryllis After Flowering
One of the most frequently asked questions after the holidays is, “Now that my amaryllis has finished flowering, how can I get it to bloom again?” Yes, those bulbs can take center stage again next Christmas if given proper care.
After blossoming, the bulb needs to grow and store food for the next season’s bloom.
Once the blossoms have faded, cut off the flower stalk, but keep the leaves growing by placing the pot in a warm, sunny spot. Water regularly and fertilize weekly with a balanced houseplant fertilizer. This is when next year’s buds are formed within the bulb.
Keep the plant growing all summer long; you can even move it outside for the summer. Bring it in at the end of August and cut OFF the watering. Let it dry out to induce a period of dormancy. Put the pot in a cool (around 50°F), dark place. Pull off any dried-up leaves.
To induce flowering in time for Christmas, bring the plant into a warm, sunny location and resume watering around in early to mid-November (see our blooming guide)